HC stays Nitish's recognition

HC stays Nitish's recognition

JD-U leader parades 130 MLAs before Prez

HC stays Nitish's recognition

The Patna High Court on Wednesday stayed the Bihar Assembly Speaker’s decision recognising Nitish Kumar as Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Legislature Party leader in place of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by JD-U legislator Rajeshwar Raj, a Manjhi supporter. The matter will be taken up again on February 18. The petition pointed out that since the Bihar Assembly continued to have a leader of the House in Manjhi, no one else could be declared or elected leader of the Legislature Party till the present leader was removed from the post in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, Kumar went ahead and paraded 130 MLAs from the coalition–JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and the Communist Party of India–before President Pranab Mukherjee.

The former chief minister sought the President’s intervention for calling a special session of the Assembly to ascertain who commands a majority in the House. He submitted to Mukherjee that any delay in holding such a session will only promote horse trading. In a show of strength of the erstwhile Janata Parivar, the delegation was led by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav and Congress leader C P Joshi.

“We urged the President that any delay is unjust because the majority is with us. The BJP leadership is trying to allure MLAs and promote horse trading. It wants to impose President’s Rule and it may also disrupt the House when the session begins,” said Kumar.

“We urged the President that the governor should give Manjhi an opportunity to prove his majority, but without delay.

“He should not wait for the Budget session. We have the majority and delay in making way to the formation of the new ministry is unjust,” said the former chief minister.

“Why is the governor taking so much time? How many more days will he take?” Kumar said. On a query regarding the high court order, Kumar said the verdict did not come in the way. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, maintained that the party would decide its course of action on the floor of the House.   BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said Kumar was in a hurry to become chief minister and advised him to wait for the governor’s decision.

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